Wherever we operate, we believe we have a responsibility to get behind our communities. More than this, we’re proud to do so – backing community programs, supporting new facilities and infrastructure, and promoting local employment and business opportunities.

Our operations are just one part of a bigger picture. We look beyond their life and instead focus on the lives of the people surrounding them, working together to create healthier, stronger and happier communities.

Big numbers for big changes

Operations community investment plans focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aiming to tackle the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Our community efforts currently target:

  • SDG3 Good health and well-being
  • SDG4 Quality education
  • SDG8 Decent work and economic growth.

During FY19, we invested US$17.3 million1  in community initiatives and activities, from FY19-FY23 we’re committed to investing up to US$125 million.

When our communities face adversity, we’re ready to help. That can be through financial assistance to support recovery from natural disasters or, where we can, supporting on-ground response with our equipment and people.

In FY19, we contributed:

  • US$800,000 in response to floods in Townsville Australia;
  • US$250,000 to support the recovery from Cyclone Idai in Mozambique;
  • Contributed via our tax, royalties and other payments as reported in our Tax Transparency and Payments to Governments report; and
  • In addition, we matched the donations which our employees made to these causes.

Community investment consists of cash, in-kind support and administrative costs and includes donations and investment of funds in the broader community where the target beneficiaries are external to the Company. The amount accounts for actual expenditures in the reporting period, not commitments, prepared on an accruals basis and representing South32’s equity share.

Supporting the health of our local communities 

We are committed to helping reduce the occurrence of communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in our local communities, as well as also providing support for people with other diseases such as Machado-Joseph Disease. Our operations collaborate with relevant government, non-government and community-based organisations to promote good health and hygiene practices to reduce communicable disease.

Matched giving

We support the causes that matter most to our people. One way we do this is through our Australia Employee Matched Giving program, where we match employee contributions to registered charities in Australia.

In FY19 we matched A$138,000 of employee contributions. Since 2016 more than A$350,000 of employee contributions have been matched.

Social and Labour Plans

In South Africa, our mining operations have Social and Labour Plans. These plans aim to promote the welfare of local communities surrounding our mines, through economic and socio-economic growth. These include:

  • Human Resources Development Programs
  • Mine Community Development Plans
  • Housing and Living Conditions Plans and
  • Employment Equity Plans

We create our Mine Community Development Plans with the help of a wide range of stakeholders, including the communities surrounding our operations. These plans contribute to their own Integrated Development Plans and we report our progress to the Department of Mineral Resources every year.


To transform2 our business in South Africa, we must focus on local interests. That’s why in South Africa, we’re guided by the legislated Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) measurement framework.

By seeking out local talent, suppliers and new business opportunities, we’re driving competitiveness and transformation, and expanding economic growth.

We also have yearly targets to improve our demographic representation across all levels of management in South Africa.

2Transformation in South Africa refers to change that allows Black people as defined to participate meaningfully into the main streams of the economy, by ways of owning, managing and controlling productive assets..

MSTA website card
Improving Education in South Africa

In South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province, we funded a state-of-the-art Maths, Science and Technology Academy.

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Supporting educational programmes

We're pleased to support in helping kids love to read, through the Tamar Valley Writers' Festival.

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Creating a better future for our communities

With Landcare Australia, we’re helping students learn about protecting and restoring the environment.

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